Kroger has filled the role left vacant by retired Ruler Division President Paul Bowen. The new head of the division, which spans Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee, will be Liz Ferneding. This position has been left vacant since Bowen retired in May of this year.
"I'm excited to join the Ruler team to help further develop the format, grow the brand and enhance customer engagement," said Ferneding, who will take over this position effective July 31. "I have admired the Kroger Co. both as a consumer and a competitor and have looked to the company throughout my tenure in the industry as a benchmark in grocery retail."
A graduate of the Farmer School of Business at Miami University, Ferneding joins Kroger most recently from Aldi. During her 11 years with Aldi, Ferneding has held a variety of leadership roles, including an international assignment in Australia, Director of Marketing, and Director of Corporate Buying.
"Liz's extensive grocery retail experience in procurement, marketing, advertising, management, and operations will be an asset to our Ruler associates, customers, and community," said Rodney McMullen, Chairman and CEO. "We have a lot of respect for the Ruler format and the customer it serves. Liz's talent and insights will help us sharpen our value-centric, small-format store."
Headquartered in Seymour, Indiana, the Ruler division operates 48 stores, each averaging 19,000-square-feet. Ruler stores have a focus on low prices and an expansive selection of Our Brands foods, according to a press release, and will welcome two more locations later in the year.